Monday, January 23, 2017

Epiphanies - The Escape to Egypt

Russian icon, The Flight into Egypt

I've had another epiphany…from another story (Matthew 2:13-23) about the baby Jesus…another story that wasn’t appropriate for the Christmas Pageant.

Lord Christ,

My Bible calls it the Escape to Egypt. It’s the Massacre of the Innocents to art historians. This doesn’t fit well with my sentimental notions of the Christmas story.

When you were a newborn, maybe a toddler, your family fled to Egypt. King Herod was threatened by the news of a Messiah, and he ordered the murder of male babies in Bethlehem. No, this doesn’t fit well with the Christmas story at all.

It does fit with a Savior for outcasts, aliens and refugees. You lived that life…from childhood. And you lived among the poor under an oppressive, cruel government.

Will I allow this story to reform my fears and prejudices? (Might this inform my position on immigration?) Am I alert and open to the poor around me, both materially and spiritually?

Jesus, I'm thinking you have an assignment for me: among the poor…to improve justice…to stimulate healing and hope. 

In your name, Amen.